Silver lining for the C's in the loss last night? The play of Avery Bradley

Okay, C's fans, this season has been a little rough so far.

Last night we lost yet again to a superb team in the Spurs, for the second time this season. Isaiah Thomas was out another game due to his lingering groin injury and the C's looked a little flat at times. Needless to say this season has fallen short of the lofty expectations set during the offseason for Boston.

Yes, they've been dealing with injuries all season long to various starting players, from Al Horford to Jae Crowder. Their defense has been pretty bad at times, especially defending the three-pointer, and on the other side of the ball they've struggled to score without their starters in the game.

Now, the C's are one game over .500 with a 13-12 record and the sky seems to be falling in Boston. But wait, there is somewhat of a silver lining to all of this - the outstanding play of Avery Bradley, especially last night. The lone player remaining from the "Big-Three" era in Beantown is having a career year after being selected to his first All-Defensive team over the offseason.

Last season, Bradley posted averages of 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in 33.4 minutes. This season, not only is Bradley the C's leading rebounder at 7.5 per game, his point average is up to 17.9 and his assists have jumped to 2.5 per. Oh, and he's shooting 42 percent from three.

At this point in the season, AB has snatched 181 rebounds, via Yes, that's right. No other Celtic has pulled down more than 98. Only two other players are accumulating the averages AB is currently posting - Kevin Durant and Kevin Love.

Last night in the loss to the Spurs, Bradley may have had the best game of his career, posting a stat line of 25 points on 10 of 16 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Talk about efficiency.

Outside of the Hornets game earlier this season where Bradley posted 31 points, 11 rebounds and shot 8 of 11 from three, the Spurs game was definitely one of AB's finest performances this season.

Sure, the C's lost and that's not all that great but seeing Bradley post numbers like these should give a little bit of hope. Al Horford may be the oldest player on the team but AB is the most tenured and is clearly capable of being a silent leader for a Boston team that seems a little lost right now, especially against better teams.

Last night may have been a career game for AB but his lofty numbers are becoming more of a norm as the season trudges along. Ten rebounds here, 20 points there, 5 assists elsewhere, Bradley is doing it all.

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Photo credit: Charles Krupa/AP
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